Over at the English 10 homework blog, I posted Karl Fisch's Did you know? video. It was a break from the regular posts relating to A Midsummer Night's Dream. Here's what I asked the students:
After viewing this video, consider this: Web technology is transforming how we communicate, and it is opening up countless opportunities for the collaboration, discussion, and sharing of ideas... the potential is almost limitless. Such social networking has powerful potential and will be a major part of the world that you will be living and working in. We need to be ready to survive and thrive in that world. How can educators, like me, better prepare you for such a future? What kinds of skills will you need to be successful in a rapidly changing world like this?Here's a sampling of what I got - and am still getting:
"It doesn't take skill to press a button to park your car. In my opinion, thats how everything will be in the future;You press a button, and it works.I think we should take environmental classes for the future. We should learn how to save fuel, prevent pollution, and save energy. That is how we can protect and advance our future. That is our best preparation."
"Sometimes it takes a video like this one to clearly put things into perspective, and realize there are billions of people out there who are more advanced than we are. I think that the best thing educators can do is encourage people to open their eyes, and motivate tomorrow’s leaders to want to make a difference. And motivate people to want to learn, and be more tolerant of other cultures."I'm not really sure what I expected from student responses. But one thing that struck me is the nonchalance at which they approached the ever changing world. Should they be more concerned about what those changes will mean 10, 20 years from now? Or maybe they're living in a world so conditioned to continual change, one in which during their short lives they've already witnessed what to them are significant shifts. They can probably remember when not everyone had a cell phone or an Ipod. To me, a digital immigrant, I'm overwhelmed at the numbers that say China has more honors students than we have students. These new digital tools are exciting, especially for someone who was a junior in high school the year the computer mouse was first introduced. While I want to embrace them and look for ways to change what I've been doing, the students are possibly in a better place. They don't have as many comfortable habits to break. Maybe I should have asked the question differently, turned it back on the students. Instead of what we educators can do to get you ready, how about what are you, the student, going to do to be ready?
"Although I think the world is changing so fast that it may be difficult to keep up, I also think that things such as doing blog postings, like these, help for us to learn how to communicate with others, and learn from others without actually seeing and talking to them. It is important for us to learn how to learn without someone saying and feeding us information."
"No one really knows what the new technologies are going to be in the future, I think we are just going that have to wait and see, and then learn about them when the time comes. I feel that maybe if technology gets more advance then people are going to get lazy, but also there may be people that can learn from it and get smarter, because that is what it should be used for."
"How can you teach kids about something that hasn’t happened yet or hasn't even been created yet? Technology has been developing fast but some things are self-learnable. Like Ipods and cell phones, we never had to have a class in school to learn how to use them."
Are they ready? Am I ready?